Local News

Two suspects arrested by Evangeline Parish Deputies in connection with ATV Theft

ATV Theft Arrests October 21, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News that two suspects were arrested in connection with the theft of an ATV in our area. More arrests are expected. On October 9, deputies were dispatched to the 900 block of Chicot Park road in reference to an ATV theft. Deputies learned the ATV stolen was an older model tan colored Honda ATV. The ATV was taken out of the victim's storage shed when he was away from his residence. On October 16, detectives were patrolling the 5000 block of Lanse Bleu road. During that time, detectives were able to locate the stolen ATV. During their investigation, it was learned that two suspects were involved in the theft. One suspect was identified as Anthony Jake LeBleu age 22 of Ville Platte and was charged with illegal possession of stolen things, accessories after the fact, and unauthorized use of a moveable. The second suspect was identified as Dylan Fournerat age 24 of Mamou and he was charged with theft, criminal damage to property, simple burglary and trespassing. The investigation is on- going. As always, Sheriff Guillory urges parish residents to contact his investigation department to report any criminal activity at 363-2161.

Sheriff Office conducts drug Arrests

Drug Busts October 20, 2021 A number of subjects were arrested by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's deputies according to Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory. On October 14, the sheriff's department Narcotics Unit along with the patrol division stopped a car in the Best Western hotel parking lot in Ville Platte. The agents approached the car and noticed the smell of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. Consent to search the vehicle was granted. Agents discovered a large amount of crystal methamphetamine. Kylance Joseph age 36 of Opelousas was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute over 28 grams of Methamphetamine, possession of Crack Cocaine and possession with intent to distribute over 20 ounces of Promethazine. On October 17, the sheriff's criminal patrol unit made contact with a suspect in the parking lot at the Best Inn Motelin Ville Platte . After conducting the interview with the nervous suspect, he admitted to deputies he had narcotics on him. Joseph Andrew Credeur age 33 who is homeless was charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Later that same evening, agents made contact with the driver of a vehicle parked in the Best Inn Motel parking lot. Deputies patted the suspect and noticed he had brass knuckles in his pocket and they located narcotics. The suspect was identified as Jeremy Daniel Smith age 25 of Natchitoches charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also charged was Richard John Manuel of Cotton Gin Loop, Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and he had two outstanding warrants for failure to appear for court. On Tuesday October 19, the sheriff's office K-9 unit stopped a vehicle in the Basile area on a traffic violation. The K-9 Diego conducted a free air sniff around the car and indicated to possible narcotics inside the vehicle. Following a search, Catherine Fontenot age 48 of Gueydan was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute over 40 grams of Methamphetamine. Also charged was James A. Johnson age 40 of Basile charged with possession with intent to distribute over 40 grams of Methamphetamine and he also had two active warrants for failure to appear for court. As always Sheriff Guillory reminds Evangeline Parish residents to contact his investigations unit for news tips or to report any criminal activity at 363-2161

Turkey Creek Police Arrests

Turkey Creek Police Arrests October 17, 2021 Turkey Creek Police Chief Steven Ardoin informed KVPI News his police department continues to keep their word on protecting the citizens and trying to eradicate narcotics use in their village. On September 22, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department were conducting traffic control on US 167 when they observed a white van traveling faster than the posted speed limit. Officers made contact with the driver, Rexton Dauzat of Ville Platte. He advised police he did not have a drivers license with him. Officers conducted a road side investigation and learned that the driver gave police a fake name to avoid going to jail for driving under suspension. He was placed under arrest on a charge for resisting an officer by giving false information and cited for speeding and driving under suspension. On September 25, officers initiated a traffic stop of a white Chevrolet truck on Red Roberts road. Turkey Creek police spoke with the driver, Aaron Johnston of Pine Prairie. Officers learned that the truck license plates were switched along with him not having a valid driver’s license. A positive K9 alert revealed that the driver has presumed illegal narcotics. After a search, illegal narcotics was located. Johnson was cited for the traffic infractions and a warrant was placed for his arrest for the narcotics. On September 28, Turkey Creek police was notified by the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Department that they had Paige Prudhomme of Pine Prairie in custody and that they had a NCIC warrant for her arrest through the Turkey Creek Police Department for driving under suspension, possession of schedule two Crystal Meth and drug paraphernalia. Turkey Creek Police confirmed the warrant and she was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail. On October 4, while court proceedings were going on, Kenny Clark of Turkey Creek entered to handle a previous citation when officers observed he had an outstanding warrant through the village of Turkey Creek for carrying a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of synthetic cannabinoid. Clark was placed into custody for the outstanding warrant and transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail for booking. Turkey Creek Police would like to thank everyone for their continued trust in the department and they will continue to strive to keep the community safe.

Fire Destroys Miller Signs Building on West Lincoln in Ville Platte

Miller Sign Fire October 12, 2021 Ville Platte Fire fighters on Monday night fought a major fire that destroyed a business on West Lincoln in Ville Platte. Fire Chief Chris Soileau informed KVPI News that the Miller Sports and Signs building at 1002 West Lincoln was heavily damaged in the Monday night blaze. The 7200 square foot building is owned by Justin Miller and is considered a total loss. The fire chief compared the size of this fire to another major business when the Jungle Dinner Club was destroyed in a fire on West Main Street a few years ago. Chief Soileau said the call from 9-1-1 came in at 8:11pm Monday night and within three minutes, the first fire units arrived at the scene. He said six units from Ville Platte and Evangeline Fire District Two responded along with 31 firefighters. Fire District Two responded with two service tankers. Firefighters remained at the scene until 1:45 Tuesday morning. Some 500,000 gallons of water were used in putting out the fire. The cause and the origin of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office but appears the fire blaze began in the common work area of the building. The fire chief praised his fire fighters for doing "a fantastic job" in containing the fire and not letting it spread to adjoining buildings. No injuries were reported during the operation.

Drug arrests made by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests October 11, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News today the following arrests: On Tuesday October 5, the sheriff's office narcotics and patrol division executed a search warrant on a residence on US High167 North between Bayou Chicot and Turkey Creek. Once the search was complete, the following suspects were arrested: Travis Wayne Morgan age 31 of Ville Platte charged with possession of Methamphetamine, possession of Marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and Seth Chad Morgan age 22 of Ville Platte charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Friday October 8, the sheriff department criminal patrol unit stopped a car for a traffic violation in the L'anse Meg area. Upon making contact with the occupants, deputies could smell marijuana coming from the car. Consent to search was given and narcotics were located. Silton Thibodeaux Jr age 49 of Mamou was ticketed on a charge of possession of marijuana and released. Also on October 8, a traffic stop was conducted for a traffic violation. This led to the following actions: Rios Benito age 30 of Houston, Texas was cited and released on possession of marijuana and Jana Faul of age 49 of Ville Platte charged with possession of methamphetamine. Last Saturday, October 9, the criminal patrol unit stopped a car on Vidrine Road for a traffic violation.. Agents discovered the occupants had active arrest warrants. The following subjects were arrested: Brittany Danielle LE age 26 of Pine Prairie charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of alprazolam and an active arrest warrant along with traffic violations. Also arrested was Roger Burleson age 31 of Opelousas charged with possession of methamphetamine. Last Saturday, the sheriff's department narcotics division and the patrol division executed a search warrant at residence on South Chataignier in Ville Platte. This stemmed from many complaints and weeks of surveillance. Agents entered the home and located indoor marijuana growth and other illegal narcotics. Arrested was Mark Adams age 55 of Ville Platte charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a shotgun with illegal length barrel, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sheriff Guillory urges residents to contact his investigations unit to report illegal activity or to leave a news tip at 337-363-2161.

Evangeline Parish School Board Rejects National School Board Recommendation

Evangeline Parish School Board

Public Meeting

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Mr. Wayne Dardeau, President of the Evangeline Parish School Board, announced on Wednesday that the National School Board is recommending the FBI add parents who attend school board meetings to protest mask and/or vaccine mandates to an investigation list. However, Mr. Dardeau, speaking on behalf of the school board, does not accept this recommendation, as he sees it as an infringement of constitutional rights.

Changes were approved for the 2021-22 Pupil Progression Plan:

Beginning in the Spring semester of school year 2021-22, to be eligible for Dual Enrollment, students must meet dual enrollment college entry requirements for their selected school. A student will be ineligible for Dual Enrollment the next semester if he/she finishes with a D, F, or “W” as their final semester grade in at least 2 classes. If a student drops 2 or more attempted courses before the final withdrawal date without a “W,” the student will be ineligible for Dual Enrollment the next semester. Eligibility in both cases shall resume the following semester if the student meets all requirements.

Superintendent Lazard assures everyone that our parish is doing “very well overall” in dropping COVID cases. Restrictions will be eased on a school-by-school basis as numbers continue to drop.

The school board was granted an Emergency Connectivity Fund Grant in the full amount requested— $830,650.

Mr. John Harvard, the Band Teacher at Pine Prairie High School and Bayou Chicot Elementary School, was selected as the recipient of the 2021-22 Outstanding Young Music Educator Award of the LS Music Educators Association.

The Board is still struggling with a nationwide teacher shortage, though they are proactively working to fill the open positions. Available positions can be found on their website.

Schools will be sprayed for mosquitoes for upcoming home games.

Finally, the Board would like to remind everyone about their Career Fair on Wednesday, October 13, starting at 8:30 a.m. at Ville Platte High School.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Monday Reviews Redistricting Plan

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Meeting October 4, 2021 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury tonight (Monday) received a status report from their demographer, Mike Heffner, on preparing a new redistricting plan based on the new 2020 census data. Heffner prepared two plans for jurors to review and to receive input. Jurors have until June 2023 to prepare for their October 2023 election. Evangeline Parish School Board Members have an election in November of 2022 so their reapportionment plan must be approved by June of next year. In other business, the police jury approved entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce having the jury send their monthly $650 contribution to them rather than split between the chamber and tourism commission. Chamber President Dr. Gwen Fontenot made the presentation to the jury. Tourism Commission Board Chairman Jay Giehlow was in favor of the change. Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron informed members of the jury that the parish had to use some $40,000 in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to stay within its fiscal year budget. Bergeron said the parish is some $184,500 over its budget in paying the fees to prisoners residing in out of parish jails. Bergeron also announced that the jury will discuss a proposed tax proposition at its November 6 meeting to help fund the cost of a new parish jail. In other action, the police jury: --approved giving pay raises to its permit clerk, public works secretary and flood Zone Mapping clerk; --voted to purchase a second sprayer to spray for mosquitos in populated areas of the parish; --appointed Eugene Manuel to replace John Bihm on the Duralde Gravity Drainage Board; --reappointed Nathaniel Thomas and Lynn Gooden on the Evangeline Parish Communications District Board; --appointed Shane Darbonne to replace Pat Soileau on the Evangeline Parish Solid Waste Commission Board; --reappointed Paul Berzas to the Duralde Gravity Drainage Board; --set trick or treating hours in Evangeline Parish outside of municipalities as Sunday October 31 Halloween night from 6-8pm while trick of treating at Crooked Creek Park will be held Saturday October 30 from 5:30-8:00pm

Four more subjects arrested in drug busts by Sheriff's Office Agents

Sheriff Office Drug Arrests September 28, 2021 Four more subjects were arrested by agents with Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department Narcotics unit, according to Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory. On Monday, the narcotics unit stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. When the agent came into contact with the driver, he noticed she was trying to conceal something. The agent then conducted a search of the vehicle and located narcotics. The subject was identified as Paige Nicole Prudhomme, age 28 of St. Landry. She was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cited for a traffic violation. Earlier in the month, on September 15, the narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Parkview Street. Agents located illegal narcotics. The following person was charged: Tyra Monae Smith of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of hydrocodone, possession of Alprazam, possession of codeine, possession of drug paraphernalia and cited for obstruction of traffic. On Sept. 18, the narcotics unit stopped a vehicle for speeding. Upon coming into contact with the driver, the agents detected an overwhelming smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. After a search, the following person was arrested: Jermaine Sidney Cato, Jr. age 20 of Columbus, Ohio. He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. On September 24, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit was conducting an investigation of illegal narcotics possession on a school campus. When the suspect's vehicle arrived to drop of their child, agents noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Agents conducted a search and the following person was arrested: Helena Rashida Zina Thomas age 29 of Chataignier. She was charged with illegal use of controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor, possession of controlled dangerous substance in a drug free zone and was cited for possession of marijuana.

Drug Arrested by Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department

Drug Arrests September 27, 2021 The Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department has remained busy battling drug trafficking and arresting drug offenders, according to Sheriff Charles Guillory. On Wednesday September 22, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a search warrant at a residence at 121 East Beauregard in Ville Platte. The warrant stemmed from numerous complaints and surveillance in the area. Agents took the two suspects into custody without incident. Arrested were : James Todd Wall age 36 of Ville Platte charged with possession of with intent to distribute Methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also arrested was Crystal Narcisse age 30 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also last Wednesday, the narcotics unit stopped a vehicle in the Tom Drive area. When agents made contact with the occupants, they discovered illegal narcotics and a firearm. Arrested were: Davis Arclis Richard age 66 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Jackie Duncan age 55 of Round Rock, Texas age 55 charged with possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance. Last Friday Sept. 24, the sheriff's department narcotics unit received a call concerning a strange package that was delivered to a residence in the Chataignier area. When agents arrived, they found the package had been mailed from Texas to Chataignier. The agents opened the package and found a total of 22 pounds of marijuana. Agents retrieved video footage from the home and have an active investigation going on at this time. On Wednesday Sept. 15, the sheriff's department narcotics unit conducted a search warrant on a residence at 723 South Dupre Street Apartment 85 in Ville Platte. Once inside, agents discovered a large amount of illegal narcotics. This led to the following arrest: Gerald Lee Germaine Tezeno ,age 30 of Ville Platte charged with the following: possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute Xanax, possession of hydrocodone and possession of promethazine. Also on Wednesday Sept. 15, the narcotics unit conducted a traffic stop on a car obstructing traffic on North Thompson street in Ville Platte. When agents made contact with the driver, narcotics were seen in plain view.. Upon completion of a search, the following actions took place: Akeem Mendez Williams age 32 of Mamou was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of hydrocodone and possession of promethazine, Brashley Wilson and Marquita Hawkins were cited for possession of marijuana and were released. As always, Sheriff Guillory and his department are always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to call the investigations unit at 337-363-2161.

Turkey Creek Arrests

Turkey Creek Police Arrests September 14, 2021 The Turkey Creek Police Department has remained busy in the past month conducting several traffic stops confiscating narcotics and ensuring the safety of local and area residents, according to Police Chief Steven Ardoin. On August 9, the Turkey Creek Police conducted a traffic stop on a minor traffic violation. After a brief road side interview, police learned that Mrs. Ashley Naquin of Turkey Creek and her passenger, Haley Hudson of Turkey Creek had outstanding warrants for their arrest. Officers requested permission to search the vehicle and the consent was denied. Police deployed their certified dual purpose patrol K9 to conduct an open air sniff of the vehicle. There was a positive alert from the K9. After a search, marijuana was located. Naquin was cited for simple possession of marijuana. Both subjects were transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail for their outstanding charges. On August 23, Turkey Creek Police conducted a traffic stop for a minor violation. After a search of the vehicle, marijuana was located the driver, Mrs. Shaquila Thomas of Port Barre was cited for simple possession of marijuana. On August 31, police conducted traffic control on cemetery road. After a brief roadside interview, their K9 Ice was deployed and he alerted on the vehicle. Narcotics were located, Joshua Aucoin of Mamou had a warrant for his arrest later that day. On Monday Sept. 6, officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department stopped a vehicle for a traffic infraction. After making contact with the driver, Elan Radar of Tyler, Texas. Police discovered the driver had full extradition felony warrants out of Texas for major offenses. His passenger, John Dugan also of Tyler, Texas was just released from prison and is a known gang member. The K9 Ice was deployed and police got a positive alert. Police located Crystal Meth, Heroin and drug paraphernalia. Dugan also had narcotics hidden on his person. Both subjects were transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail for booking. Last Saturday, Sept. 11, officers made a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Rusty Gautreaux of Ville Platte. Police learned that the driver had outstanding warrants for his arrest on narcotics charges. After a search, narcotics were located in the vehicle. Gautreaux was placed under arrest for the outstanding warrants and cited for the narcotics located inside the vehicle. Turkey Creek Police would like to than everyone involved with assisting in keeping narcotics off our streets and out of our homes. They would like to the community for their continued trust in the department and their pledge is to continue to keep the community safe.

Rotary Club hears from Candace Aguillard with Mercy Regional Medical Center

Ville Platte Rotary Club Meeting September 14, 2021 The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Candace Aguillard who works in the Cardiac Cath Lab at Mercy Regional Medical Center. She informed club members that patients can now be treated for heart related illnesses with two new physicians: Dr. Patrick Savoy, a general/vascular surgeon and cardiologist Dr. Raghotham Patlola. The cath lab offers angiographs, stents, echocardiograms, EKG, Stress Test and pacemaker and defibrillator services. The speaker was the guest of Rotarian Renee Brown.

Drug Arrests by Sheriff's Office

Drug Arrests September 8, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests: Last Friday, the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit entered a residence at 614 Huey Long Street in Ville Platte discovered narcotics and US currency. This led to the following arrest: Dustin Raushuan Johnson age 29 of Ville Platte charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute PCP and Possession with intent to distribute Marijuana. Also on Friday, sheriff's deputies conducted a driver impairment check point on US 167 east of Ville Platte. While they were conducting a check point, deputies located narcotics in several vehicles. This led to the following actions: Byron Lee Abbs age 23 of Pitkin charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana; In a separate stop, the following were arrested Jamail Anthony Ledet Jr. age 25 of Missouri City, Texas cited for possession of marijuana; Anthony Kervin Troy age 25 of New Iberia charged with possession of a stolen firearm and cited for possession of marijuana; Stephen Earl Cook age 42 of Opelousas charged with possession of Cocaine and cited for possession of marijuana. As always, Sheriff Guillory and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department is always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigations Department at 337-363-2161.

Oakdale man killed in Traffic accident in Evangeline Parish

19-Year-Old Oakdale Man Dies in Fiery Crash in Evangeline Parish Evangeline Parish – On September 7, 2021, shortly before 8:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop I responded to a two-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 106 east of Paradise Lane in Evangeline Parish. The crash claimed the life of 19-year-old Luke A. Fontenot of Oakdale. The preliminary investigation revealed Fontenot was driving east on LA 106 in a 2013 Nissan Rogue. At the same time, a 2006 International 18-wheeler, pulling a logging trailer, was backing into a worksite on the north side of LA 106. Fontenot's Nissan struck the side of the International on the passenger side diesel tank in the eastbound travel lane causing both vehicles to become engulfed in flames. Troopers were unable to immediately determine seat belt usage on the part of either driver due to the severity of damage. Fontenot was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the 18-wheeler suffered only minor injuries and refused medical treatment. He also showed no signs of impairment and submitted a breath sample indicating no alcohol present. This crash remains under investigation. Louisiana State Troopers would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to always make good decisions while operating motor vehicles. Never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death. Troop I has investigated 39 fatal crashes resulting in 48 deaths in 2021.

Community Foundation of Acadiana speaker at Rotary Club Tuesday

Rotary Club hears Community Foundation of Acadiana spokesman August 31, 2021 Raymond Hebert with Community Foundation of Acadiana was the featured speaker at today's (Tuesday) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club. The Community Foundation of Acadiana was founded some 21 years ago committed to building legacies and improving communities by connecting generous people to the causes they care about. The Foundation is now the third largest community foundation in the state and serves the 8 parish Acadiana area including Evangeline Parish. He reported that the Evangeline Foundation, an affiliate of the C.F.A. was created in 2018 to help create a legacy for parish residents and their families. Each parish affiliate has an affiliate advisory board and is comprised of investors that are residents or natives of that parish. The goal is to raise at least one million dollars in named permanent funds for each parish. That permanent fund is the "engine" that generates discretionary resources to be used at the discretion of the Evangeline Advisory Board. The C.F.A. sponsors the SOLA giving Day. In 2021, there were a total of 3737 donation received raising a total of $1.88 million dollars that were distributed to non profit groups and organizations. The next SOLA Giving Day will be May 5, 2022. The speaker was the guest of Rotarian Bob Manuel.

French Immersion Teachers speak at Ville Platte Rotary Club

Ville Platte Rotary Club August 24, 2021 The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from some of the new French Immersion teachers that just arrived to teach students at Mamou Elementary and Ville Platte Elementary. Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard told club members that students from kindergarten to 5th grade are eligible to attend French Immersion classes. There are 70 students enrolled in Ville Platte and 110 children in Ville Platte. Katrina Ardoin, principal at Ville Platte introduced her new teacher whose home is Tunisia in northern Africa. Rebecca Fontenot, Assistant Principal at Mamou Elementary, introduced her three new French Immersion teachers who come from France, Quebec, Canada and from Natchitoches, Louisiana. Mike Lombas, Assistant Superintendent, thanked the community for supporting the teachers and the French program in our local schools. He is asking for the public's help in finding two rental units, an apartment or a small home for two new teachers that will be arriving soon in the parish The superintendent shared with Rotary Club members his plan to make major improvements to every school campus in the parish and to give pay raises to employees. The school board earlier approved a plan to pass a bond issue to raise some $4.6 million dollars in revenues to make improvements like: outdoor classrooms at Ville Platte Elementary, W.W. Stewart and Chataignier Elementary; a new athletic track at Pine Prairie and Ville Platte High; install air conditioning at the Mamou High gym , a new softball field at Basile High along with other renovations. Also, Senator Heather Cloud was able to secure $1 million dollars in state funding to construct a new multi-purpose building at Bayou Chicot Elementary. The school board also approved giving pay raises $1400 to teachers and $670 to support workers from state and local sources. Lazard said all of this is being done without any additional taxes to the taxpayers of the parish. Elementary Supervisor Cherie Fontenot explained the school board's plans to improve test scores and increase academic achievement

Drug Arrests

Drug Arrests August 23, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News: On Saturday August 21, the sheriff's department criminal patrol unit stopped a vehicle on Oberlin road for a traffic violation. The deputies made contact with the driver and noticed a strong odor of marijuana from the car. The deputies searched the vehicle and found narcotics and currency. This led to the following: Queen Lentoria Evelyn Smith age 22 of 1001 Maple Avenue of Mamou was charged with possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone and was also cited and released for possession of marijuana and traffic violations. Also on Saturday, criminal patrol agents stopped a truck for a traffic violation. When they made contact with the driver, agents noticed a bag of marijuana in plaint view. This led to the following action: Jermaine Dalcour age 37 of Kinder was cited and released for possession of marijuana and traffic violations. As always, Sheriff Guillory and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigation department at 363-2161. All calls will remain anonymous.

Evangeline Parish School Board Addresses Lower Testing Scores

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Evangeline Parish School Board, the board presented their “Closing the Learning Gap” plan, intended to address the lower testing scores from recent years. According to the latest data, Evangeline Parish schools performed better than 40% (28 out of 70) districts in LA, but the board feels that our schools can do much better. They have not received a new district score since 2019 due to the pandemic.

With this new plan, teachers will make weekly data reports and provide at-risk students with direct instruction to help close learning gaps. Students at the basic level will receive targeted instruction to accelerate them into Mastery level. The same approach will be used for students already at Mastery levels, but with enrichment time instead of acceleration. K-2 students, though not tested, will also be assessed to help keep them on grade level.

Additionally, “homework hotlines” will be coming in September to help students with their work and answer question. Targeted support for teachers and teacher quality will also be implemented.

Dr. Chuck Aswell was in attendance to give a follow-up from their last meeting. He says that while he understands the public’s frustrations at the current situation, the board has to follow Gov. Edwards’ mask mandate for ages 5 and older. He clarified that the mandate is 100% legal, since the state of Louisiana has the right to preserve public health and safety.

Temperatures will be taken at schools and, if they are too high, the individual will be tested for COVID-19. If the test comes back positive, the individual will be sent home for a 10-day quarantine along with all household members. As of Wednesday, quarantine is no longer required if contact with COVID-19 is made, but only if an individual is vaccinated. Dr. Aswell remains adamant that the pandemic is not just an individual fight, but something that affects everyone. The number of children on ventilators in ICU is going up rapidly, but the vaccine is here and needs to be utilized not only for our own sakes, but for the future of our children.

Mr. Lazard finished by stating that he is adamant about keeping the students in in the classroom and that the public’s cooperation is appreciated.

The board received an update on “Leader in Me,” a program intended to better not just the schools, but also the community. The program is intended as a “culture change” in how students live, relate to others, and work in their community. It gives each child a job or responsibility within the classroom and forms good habits by preparing them for the future. Instead of reaching individual students, the program allows teachers and mentors to present 100s of students with equal opportunities. Right now, the program is only in 4 schools beginning with elementary, but they plan to bring it to every school and every grade in the future.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: all school board employees can wear tennis shoes until further notice

Turkey Creek K-9 Balu receives Body Armor Donation

Turkey Creek Police Department's K9 Balu has received donation of body armor Turkey Creek Police Department's K9 Balu has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Balu's vest was sponsored by Dr. Robin Ballina of Shakopee, MN and embroidered with the sentiment "In memory of K9 Luna, Duluth, MN- EOW 2/26/21". Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,301 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations. The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718. Turkey Creek Police Department would like to thank everyone involved with assisting with keeping the narcotics off of our streets and out of our homes. We would also like to thank the community for their continued trust in the Department and that we continue to keep the community safe.

Sheriff Department Drug Arrests

Drug Arrests by Sheriff's Deputies August 12, 2021 Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory reported to KVPI News the following drug arrests: The Sheriff's Department Narcotics Division conducted a traffic stop on a truck on Tuesday on Armand Street in Ville Platte . After smelling the odor of marijuana, the drug dog, Diego alerted to the presence of narcotics. Agents searched the vehicle and found narcotics, guns and U.S. currency. This led to the agents obtaining a search warrant for a residence at 117 Armand Street. Agents and deputies located additional narcotics and weapons. This led to the following arrests: Malcolm Jawaski Smith age 31 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute over 20 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 3.5 ounces of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute over 21.8 grams of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute over 59 ecstasy pills, possession of PCP, possession of oxycodone, possession of a firearm in presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia. Also arrested at the home was Ashley Smith age 31 of Ville Platte. She was charged with possession with intent to distribute over 20 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 3.5 ounces of fentanyl, possession of with intent to distribute 59 pills of ecstasy, possession of PCP, possession of a firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The sheriff remarked that she was a corrections officer working for Ville Platte City Police at the time of her arrest. She was also charged with malfeasance in office. Also on Wednesday, the Narcotics Division conducted a traffic stop on another vehicle. The driver gave permission to search and agents located narcotics hidden under the hood. This led to the arrest of Daniel Scott Guillory age 36 of Ville Platte charged with possession with intent to distribute over ten grams of methamphetamine, possession of one gram of heroin, possession of one gram of fentanyl and possess of drug paraphernalia. As always, Sheriff Guillory and the Sheriff's Office is always seeking information on criminal activity and urges the public to contact their investigations Department at 363-2161.

Royalty Announced for 2021 Louisiana Cotton Festival

2021 Cotton Festival Royalty Announced! Members of the Louisiana Cotton Association have been working on the 67th annual La Cotton Festival, which will be observed on Tuesday October 19 through Sunday October 24, 2021. They are pleased to announce the royalty for the 67th Louisiana Cotton Festival: Mr. Jeff Willis – Head Coach of Louisiana State University at Eunice will be crowned King Cotton 67th Mr. Chris Guillory – Evangeline Parish Tax Assessor has graciously accepted duties of Colonel Cotton, Mrs. Patricia Duplechin – Activity Director at Heritage Manor of Ville Platte will serve as the Grand Parade Marshal of Grand Parade of Cotton. Miss Shelbi McClay Rials is the reigning Queen Cotton 66th. She will crown her successor Saturday October 23rd at our Cotton Coronation starting at 5:30pm. Friday night we will have our annual "Fais-Do-D0" Starting at 6:00 pm with The Trever Causey Band to kick of the night , then Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie will be our head-line entertainment and he will take the stage at 9 p.m. Members of the Cotton Festival Association would like to invite everyone to join them on October 19 through October 24, 2021 at the North Side Civic Center to have a Cotton Pickin Good Time!

Turkey Creek Police Make Arrests

Turkey Creek Police Chief Steven Ardoin released the following arrest reports to KVPI News: On Tuesday, August 03, 2021 Officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department observed a Beige in color Honda Accord commit a minor Traffic violation. Upon stopping the vehicle and making contact with the driver a Mr. Saengatith Xanamane of Forrest Hill it was learned that he had an outstanding warrant With the Turkey Creek Police Department for possession of Schedule II with intent to distribute. Officers advised Mr. Xanamane of the warrant and then had a brief interview on the side of the road. K9 Ice was deployed on the vehicle and gave positive alert on the vehicle for the odor of possible narcotics. A search of the vehicle was conducted and presumed Crystal Meth was located along with presumed Marijuana. Mr. Xanamane was booked into the Evangeline Parish jail for the outstanding warrant and the additional charges occurred after the stop. On August 06, 2021 Officers with the Turkey Creek Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a yellow four wheeler driving on the roadway. Officers made contact with the driver a Mr. Donald Holden of Ville Platte and advised him of the reason of the stop. When asked for his driver's license Mr. Holden advised that it was in his bag but didn't want to get it out due to it being a lot to deal with. Officers asked him to retrieve the license and he was hesitant to go inside the bag. Officers obtained enough reasonable suspicion to deploy the K9 for an open air sniff on the baggage to which K9 Ice gave a positive alert on the baggage. When searching the bag officers located a revolver and drug paraphernalia within the bag used for smoking Crystal Meth. When officers attempted to place Mr. Holden in Handcuffs he began to attempt to run. Officers gave chase and K9 Ice was deployed for apprehension. K9 Ice assisted in apprehending Mr. Holden by doing what he was trained to do by biting Mr. Holden several times. He was able to escape from the bite then continued to run into a neighboring yard where he was tased by officers and able to escape again. After a brief foot pursuit a neighbor assisted with taking Mr. Holden to the ground while K9 Ice assisted with the apprehending him as well. Mr. Holden was placed in handcuffs then transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail after being treated for his bite wounds. Turkey Creek Police Department would like to thank everyone involved with assisting with keeping the narcotics off of our streets and out of our homes. We would also like to thank the community for their continued trust in the Department and that we continue to keep the community safe.

Tensions Rise Over Masks at Evangeline Parish School Board Meeting

Evangeline Parish School Board

4 August 2021

 

Mask wearing was the hot topic at Wednesday’s meeting of the Evangeline Parish School Board. At their last meeting, it was decided that masks would be voluntary unless the state of Louisiana ordered otherwise. Since the state has issued a mask mandate, the decision is no longer in the hands of the school board; they must abide by Governor John Bel Edwards’ orders.

 

Dr. Chuck Aswell was in attendance to give everyone information on masks and how they work. He said that clear plastic face shields, while comfortable, are not effective on their own. COVID-19 is a droplet disease, meaning that it is not airborne and that those droplets can slide down the plastic and defeat the purpose of the mask. Handmade cotton masks should be 3 layers thick: a cotton interior to absorb, a poly-woven blend in the middle, and polyester on the outside to prevent the droplets from escaping. Surgical masks are best for public use, while N95 masks are recommended for healthcare workers. Essentially, he said, N95 masks protect the wearer since they absorb what comes in, and surgical masks protect the public by absorbing what goes out.

 

All students and employees will be required to wear a surgical mask or a 3-layer cotton mask on campuses.

 

Dr. Aswell also says that while over 300 million people in the US are vaccinated, only 6,000 deaths are attributed to adverse effects of the vaccine. Again, he warns everyone to be wary of misinformation spread online.

 

Several parents and citizens showed up at the meeting to argue for or against mask-wearing; however, since public comments were not on the agenda, the public was not permitted to speak. Individuals who chose not to wear masks were asked to remain outside. Instead, some upset individuals chose to shout over the board members to express their anger over the mask mandate and accuse the board of dictatorship. Tensions quickly rose, with some people taking off their masks and others shouting their opinions from outside the room. Authorities were called and an officer arrived to keep watch at the door. Mr. Arthur Sampson spoke in favor of the mask mandate, but since public comments were not allowed from either side, he was still asked to remain silent. He left after threatening to sue the school board for silencing the public but returned later to inform them that his attorney would be in touch.

 

The school board would like to remind everyone that all public schools in Evangeline Parish will return on Wednesday, August 11th; teachers are to return to work on Monday, August 9th. They would also like to stress that NO child will ever be tested for the virus without parent approval.

Acadian Ambulance Spokesperson Guest Speaker at Ville Platte Rotary Meeting

Ville Platte Rotary Club August 3, 2021 The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Amy Guidry, Operations Coordinator with Acadian Ambulance Service. Guidry is a 22 year veteran with the ambulance service and a native of Avoyelles Parish. Acadian Ambulance Service is celebrating its 50th anniversary September 1. The company began with eight employees and two ambulances in Lafayette. Since that humble beginning, the company has grown and expanded to serve residents in Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee. The company has also grown to include six different divisions including Air Med, Fixed Wing aircraft, Total Security and National EMS Academy. Currently the company has 5000 employees and 640 ambulances. It is the only nationally accredited ambulance service in the state. In 1974, Acadian Ambulance expanded to Evangeline Parish. The company now has 30 employees working in the parish with a 1.5 million dollar payroll. Since 1971, Acadian Ambulance has been having an annual membership drive to help provide discounted services to members. In 1993, the company became 80 percent employee owned. The speaker was the guest of Rotarian Eric Gil.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury looking at new revenue Sources

Evangeline Parish Police Jury reviewing funding sources August 2, 2021 The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, Monday, was notified by Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron that the parish is some $63,000 over budget in housing parish prisoners in out of parish prisons and there is still five months left in the budget year. The jury is mandated to house prison prisoners. More bad news came from Jury legal advisor Christopher Ludeau. He informed the jury , due to new Covid restrictions, the Department of Corrections has stopped  the transporting of D.O.C. prisoners plus possibly suspending jury trials which will aggravate the jury’s financial problems. The jury advised Secretary Treasurer Donald Bergeron to look at the possibility of having excess funds from the Parish Library and Health Unit taxes be re-dedicated to a special court fund to help pay for parish inmates during this financial crisis facing the parish. Juror Sidney Fontenot “We have to let the public know what our problems are and what options we have. If we don’t do something, it’s going to bankrupt this parish.”. In other business, the police jury voted to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with L.U.S. to secure funding sources for Evangeline Parish to get high speed fiber to the homes of parish residents. Ryan Meche of L.U.S. Fiber spoke to the jury during the meeting. His company offers the fastest internet service in America at 10 GB. The police jury will be applying for a number of state and federal grants to bring high speed internet and broadband service to residents throughout the parish. In other action the police jury: --approved keeping the Lake Cove precinct at Berl Clark’s store after earlier last month voted to move it to the Lake Cove Baptist Church; --will open bids for an electrical system upgrade at Crooked Creek Recreational Park. The park has remained busy this camping season with over 500 campers checking in during July; --received a report from Section 8 housing director Anna Frank that her program has secured 15 emergency housing vouchers to assist homeless families. The program is serving 159 tenants throughout the parish with a maximum of 140 applicants on the waiting list; --approved a capital improvement plan for the parish library and its branches; --took in $417,600 in sales taxes from the 2 percent sales tax in July, a 28 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Ville Platte Police investigate attempted murder-suicide at local business Sunday

Ville Platte Police Chief Neal Lartigue reports an attempted murder and suicide. On Sunday, August 1, 2021 at approximately 11:30 a.m. Officers responded to a report of a shooting at a business on the 500 block of Tate Cove Road. Witnesses stated that the male suspect shot the female and then fled to the back of the building with a gun held to his head. Officers learned that a male suspect had shot a female and then shot himself near the doors of the business. Officers located the injured female sitting in the back seat of a vehicle with multiple gunshot injuries. She was transported by a bystander to Mercy Regional Hospital where she was met by air med for transportation to Rapides General Hospital. The male was pronounced dead at the scene. No further identification information is being released at this time pending notification to the family. The female victim is reported to be in stable condition at this time.

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Swamp Pop music

The Louisana Swamp Pop Museum is operated by the City of Ville  Platte is open to the public every Friday and

Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. Come view the amazing artifacts, photos,records, Wall of Fame and hear the music.
 

Admission charge is $3 adults,

$2 seniors and $1 for children under 12.
The museum is located on

Northwest Railroad Avenue.